Friday, February 7, 2014

Battle of the Split Ring Pliers

Two weeks ago I reviewed my "Bead Buddy" split ring pliers.  If you missed that, you can catch up here.  Since I posted that, I've heard from a few people that they didn't even know this kind of pliers existed, and I think blood has been drawn in the effort to use a sharp pokey thing to assist in separating the rings.

Abby from Xuron is a regular reader of my blog (hi, Abby!), and this week I received a sample of Xuron's split ring pliers (thanks, Abby!).  I e-mailed her to thank her, and I told her I'd have a "Battle of the Split Ring Pliers" and said, "It's on like Donkey Kong!"  I don't know where that came from, but I tickled myself.


In this corner... Weighing in at 63.3g... The current champion sporting green handles... The Bead Buddy split ring pliers!  ::crowd roars::

And in THIS corner... Weighing in at 60.8g... The challenger sporting baby blue handles... The Xuron split ring pliers!  ::crowd roars even louder::

::ding ding ding::

As they come together in the middle of the ring, we see the Bead Buddy pliers have a wider stance, making them a little harder to hold for people with smaller hands (including the referee):

Squeezing each of them closed, the referee finds that the Bead Buddy pliers are nowhere near as smooth as the Xuron pliers!  ::crowd makes shocked sounds::

Look out!  Bead Buddy threw a right hook at a passing split ring!  Let's look that in slow motion:

Wow - that looked like a glancing blow, and the separation of the rings is minimal.

Not to be outdone, Xuron - who closely resembles Sam the Eagle of The Muppets - wrenches the ring away from Bead Buddy and takes his own shot at it:

Xuron's approach is a little different - it's more diagonal than horizontal - but he gets right in there and separates the rings much more than Bead Buddy.

What's that?  Xuron knocked Bead Buddy AND a pair of circuit board/resistor earrings out in one fell swoop!

The crowd is going absolutely wild!  We have a winner, folks!  We. Have. A. Winner!  ::holds the Xuron split ring pliers high in the air while dancing around the studio:::

I hope you enjoyed that battle as much as I did.  I know you may be thinking that I let the Xuron pliers "win" because they were given to me by Xuron, but they really are a much higher quality of plier than the Bead Buddy ones.  Yeah, you'll pay more for Xuron, but that money goes straight into quality.

It took a little while for me to get used to how the Xuron pliers work (the whole diagonal vs. horizontal thing), but once I did, I really liked it.  Since the ring separation is so much wider, it was easier to move components through, and I didn't have to switch to my bent nose pliers for the last part of it.  I was able to rest the end of the ring against the pliers and push the ring the rest of the way.  The feel of the Xuron pliers is so much nicer, too.  All around it's a wonderful tool.

I do maintain that if you're very rarely going to use split rings, you'd be fine with a Bead-Buddy-caliber plier, but for anyone who will use split rings more than once or twice a year, you would do well to invest in the Xuron pliers.

This is not going to be the case with every tool I review, but I sell these split ring pliers along with the 4 in 1 Crimper and the Fireline scissors.  You can find them at any bead show I go to (see my website for my calendar) or on my Xuron tool shop page for $16 plus $3 shipping.  You can probably find them cheaper elsewhere, but you'll have my undying gratitude, and if there are any problems with the tool, I have a direct line to Xuron.

Now onto the earrings themselves.  The circuit board is from the keyboard I took apart.  There's a picture of the best parts from that keyboard along with a bracelet I made from the silicone sheet here.  I'm in the middle of another bracelet using the silicone sheet - look for that next week!

The resistors Steve bought go well with the circuit board, so I used those as well.  I have 470 resistors left.  Long, long way to go!

If you missed my reviews of other Xuron products, check them out:  "Fireline" scissors and 4 in 1 Crimper.


  1. Very clever, funny post and educational, too! I own 2 pair of split ring pliers, but don't even know what brands they are - black handles and dark blue handles, so not either of those in your post. I do notice a difference and have one that I favor over the other. Great demo photos!

  2. That was an excellent Blog Traci... totally funny and informative. Lots of personality in it and I like that you used pictures, so everyone can see what you're talking about. Oh, and the earrings are adorable.

  3. Hilarious. Informative. Great process shots. Makes me wonder what other superior tools Xuron carries.

  4. The resistors are the same exact ones we show in our special tools section here:

    Nice review, Traci!

    1. Bulk pack at Radio Shack! You can't beat the price. :) They're fun to work make jewelry with.

      Thanks, Mike!